The Web is connection. It’s about how google, twitter, skype, text, facebook,webinar, podcasts, blog posts, skype, wiki and so on connects us. Thankfully, the list can, does and will go on and on. I’m grateful for my connectedness and how it shows. There are limitless ways to connect in today’s digital world. This is how we live and learn. Today, I tap, tap my fingers on my keyboard to ask my principal and vice-principal colleagues: Is your connectedness showing?
Interestingly, it often seems there is a tendency for many leaders to disconnect during the summer because our feet are not planted in the classrooms, hallways, offices nor playgrounds of our face-to-face physical spaces. In fact, come to think of it, I haven’t heard from many of you except for those who I connect with online and in the cloud. Why is that? Why does the prefix dis come into play in our connected world? Being connected is not bound by time nor place in today’s digital world. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
So, here’s my question to you: Are you a connected lead learner? Meaning a leader who knows how to learn from the Web and it’s related technologies with online communities, networks and DIY PD.
Here’s my statement. We must BE connected lead learners. That’s right, being a learner comes first. You always lead second. As principals and vice-principals, lead learners and first and foremost as educators, we must do more than ask and talk about what it means to work in a participatory web 2.0 world, We must participate and contribute! Connected educators are people who collaborate online, use social media to connect with others globally, engage in online conversations and bring back what they learn online to their schools and districts. Our students and many staff are well on their way and they wonder ‘out loud’ very publicly on the Web why more principals and vice-principals are not connected in this digital age. Haven’t you heard?
So, I ask you: is your ‘connectedness’ showing and making a difference in how you learn and lead? It better be because that’s how we (meaning the world) live and learn today. As a leader you must be visible, be open, be transparent, be googleable, be shareable, be participatory and be connected. As you learn and practice ‘to be’ connected, remember that it’s okay to not know because you are a learner first, just like the rest of us. Be patient, be persistent and be curious.
It just so happens that August is Connected Educators Month. Did you know? If not, here’s the good news: there is still and always will be time to come and learn with us. But I will say that this month is particularly awesome. Check out the CEM Starter Kit. Being a connected lead learner is invigorating and let’s you share, collaborate, and learn in unexpected, serendipitous, focussed and networked ways that take you beyond where you ever thought possible.
I share these questions that have been brewing around in my head and today, I crafted them ‘out loud’ for my ongoing reflection.
Feel free to replace the am I with are you.
- How am I accessing Web technologies for my learning each and every day?
- How am I participating in how the Web connects us (meaning everyone in the world) around living and learning?
- How am I learning from the Web in connected ways and collaborating with others in online communities and networks?
- How am I learning in connected ways for my own DIY personal learning and most importantly, sharing with my staff and others?
- How am I connecting in sound ways pedagogy for learning with the Web and related technologies?
- How am I coaching staff in ways that leverage the Web for ongoing PD and growth that extends beyond face-to-face in my school and district?
- How do I engage, learn and communicate with students, parents and colleagues in connected ways?
- How am I connecting the non or disconnected educator?
These questions are meant to serve as a reminder that it’s about learning how to learn as an individual and as a group in ways that are connected to the real-world. The connected world. Being a connected leader is a must.